Pictures and Updates.

December 30th, 2010

I'm going to hate January 9th.
I'm going to Ireland for the 1st-8th.
Expect a huge blog filled new camera photos, and Ireland photos.
Dublin, Cork, Tulsk, I dunno where else.
I fully intend to sample what a true Irish pub has to offer.


Agur!

Mele Kalikimaka!

December 25, 2010


I’m dreaming of a blue Christmas.
Well really more grey than blue. But the day has been chock-full of Blue October, Jason Webley, American Movies dubbed in Spanish, and silly writing projects that don’t really amount to anything. Today hasn’t been very, special, I guess.
No great loss, it has been relaxing and lunch was very good.
I did give Carmen a small gift, that she seemed to like, nothing too serious, but I did think it would be a nice gesture since I’ve been living in her house and eating her food, and she does do my laundry and all.
It seems in Spain, “The Good Night” is a larger celebration

Good Night
Last night Carmen, Antonio, and I all went over to Carmen’s to John’s, her oldest son, flat for dinner. The dinner was very, very large with multiple courses, plenty of jámon and that fantastic lightly cooked salmon they have here.
John’s family is great, his wife is a doctor, but insists on being called a “Medica” which seems to be a humility thing, not something I’d expect in Spain.
His oldest son, Joshu I think, is 19 and uncertain with what he wants to do with his life, but he is a clever young man, and quite friendly. His parents give him a hard time about his long hair, which is somewhere between a mullet and an afro. They told him he couldn’t be full basque until he cut his hair (because John, Joshu’s father is half Mexican, as that Carmen is Mexican.)
John’s youngest daughter was nice, and could speak English, but was too embarrassed to talk with me directly, which is fine, she’s seven and can sing quite well.
John’s wife’s (I can’t recall her name to save my life, I’m so bad with basque names...Okay names in general) aunt was at dinner as well. She was very nice, but insisted that I should speak english with her, even though she didn’t quite follow anything I said. She was a little bit older, and very sweet, but a touch senile I fear. She had me translate the ‘menu’ of the meal to her in English, and ‘corrected’ me several times. She also kept touching the back of my head, which is a very basque thing to do, I tried not to show it when she accidentally bumped my new ear piercings.

Dinner.
The dinner was fabulous. Pâté, jámon, the salmon, bread, fancy salads that were made of their own lettuce bowls and contained avocado, white asparagus with mayonnaise, those little lobster/shrimp guys that are so popular here, the family spent a good 15 minutes teaching me how to eat them. Everyone here keeps telling me ‘Tranquillo’ but I never feel like I’m stressing out when people tell me this, I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m a stresser, but I feel like I can be rather calm and easy going at times, and when I’m told to chill when I’m already chilling… I get confused.
Anyhow, after the shellfish, of which I must have had five, there was “caldo” a traditional spanish broth.
John’s wife insisted that it was a very traditional part of Christmas eve’s dinner, and was upset to see how many people didn’t want any. I, not wishing to miss out on anything, had a bowl of this as well. It wasn’t bad, broth with some hard-boiled egg bits mixed in.
After caldo snails were brought in, covered in a meaty-tomato sauce.
John asked me if I’d ever tried snails ‘caracoles’ before. I admitted that I had at a festival, and that I had not enjoyed them particularly, but I also mentioned that I’d be willing to try his.
He assured me that his would be better.
The sauce alone was very good, and the family, swifter this time, taught me how to remove the snail from its shell. These snails were better than the ones at the festival, which were, as my father expertly put it, like shoeleather. These were tender, and covered in meaty tomato sauce.
After caracoles we moved on the main course. I elected to try both the fish and the meat, which was heavily encouraged.
The basque love eaters.
I love eating.
It works out well.
A white soft flaky fish cooked in some mixture of vinegar and other…cooking… things, it was nice but I have a personal preference for the fish prepared by my grandmother.

The meat was as Antonio put it ‘very bloody’ and quite fantastic.
Now something I don’t think people stateside really get, is what ‘bread’ means here.
When I say I had bread with dinner, I don’t mean I had one or two slices of garlic or french bread.
I mean that there are several large loaves of freshly made European, Spanish to be exact, bread, that is softer and more delicious than any ‘french’ bread I’ve had back stateside. This food item is not a food item here, no, it’s a utensil (funny, not “an utensil”). Everything is eaten with a slice of bread. I could have easily eaten a foot of bread, if not more.
After dinner there was ice cream, chocolates, dried fruits and coffee.
Then we pulled out a computer, hooked up to skype, and conference called Carmen’s sister and mother, who live in Mexico. That was really cool.
Afterward we all stayed up late talking about what must have been a thousand odd things.
I’m really excited because I could keep up with a massive amount of the conversation, and could express some fairly complicated ideas with some proficiency.
Go go Spanish language improvement!



Merry Christmas Kishpike.
So I went ahead and spent a little more money after doing my Christmas shopping on a few things for my favorite weasel.
I sorely miss second hand stores, for their super (when I say super like this, I throw my head back and close my eyes) reasonable prices, and their odd assortment of clothing items that are unique and interesting. Not that spain is lacking interesting clothing items.

So here’s the Santa Swag:
~A Lilac Samsung ST60 camera.
Because I had lost my previous camera in Madrid, I purchased a new one. Cameras in Europe are painfully expensive. Don’t lose one while you’re here.

~ A pair of boomerang ‘speedmaster’ inline skates.
These were fairly… ‘reasonably’ priced. I’m overly spoiled with my $12 second hand rollerblades.

~ My first movie ticket in Spain. “Tron Legacies”
No spoilers here, but I was relatively disappointed with the movie. I was excited that I understood most of it, as that it was already dubbed over in spanish.

~ 1 spanish scarf. And only 1. I may purchase a Team ‘Athletic Club’ scarf and go see a football game next semester but for now this scarf helps me with blending in.

So merry Christmas to me!

I would have liked to do more traveling to some more exotic locations, but I’m afraid I don’t trust myself traveling alone too much anymore. Hopefully next semester I will get some friends to want to go to Morocco, or Venice with me.

Flight.
So rollerblades. Something I should have invested in from the start.
There is so much freedom, so much expression of movement, so much I love about being able to rollerblade.
The faster pace makes it easier to travel about, and I feel less like I am unable to ‘get places’ when I have my rollerblades.
I look forward to the next dry day, so that I can try out the local skate park.

The next dry day.
So… thing about a skate park.
Filled with young skaters.
Children, who are everywhere, and teenagers, who have something to prove.
I’m not certain what, but I recall the feeling fine. (Or still feel it, or whatever.)
Other thing about a skate park.
I have never really skated in one.
After falling down three or four times, and making an ass out of myself even more, I decided for the (benefit of my own feeble pride) safety of the children, it’d be best to learn when there were less people about.

Computer.
So my poor computer is dying. Slowly.
Every day it can only charge up to 1-2% less than it could the day before.
Right now I’m at 67% when she’s fully charged.
Running at low power consumption, I can squeeze 5 hours out of it before it goes south, which isn’t so bad, but the continual loss of “fully charged percent” does concern me.
I fear soon I shall have a lightweight desktop instead of a netbook.

Dead Horse.
So, I know by now it’s pretty much a dead horse on your side of things, but this is my blog, so I’m gunna write about it anyway, because I just can’t kill the beast.
Glaring.
There’s still lots of it.
I realize that that’s not going to change anytime sooner than my state of being foreign.
But it would certainly make leaving the house a lot easier.
A lot easier.
Maybe I’m just reading it wrong.
Maybe the scowl and the knitted eyebrows doesn’t mean “What the fuck is that kid doing here,” perhaps it’s a cultural greeting.
I mean I know smiling is a very American greeting, maybe I’m in the wrong here.
Mmm very pirate. I’ll toss in an “Arrr” next time I see someone scowling at me, and see if that works. (No, I won’t.)

Merry Christmas!


Agur!

Christmas Vacation, dubbed over in Spanish

December 19th, 2010

All's well.
Not much to report. Thus the lack of any recent blogs. My apologies if this entry is rather bland, things haven't been too crazy lately.

Finally.
Finals went fairly well, and I'm in vacation until January 10th.
I was going to travel to Morocco during this period of time, but after my experiences with traveling alone, I've decided to cut back on that practice, especially outside of the EU proper. I got into enough trouble in 'Venice,' I don't want to push this little weasel's luck. (Hopefully next semester I can grab a friend to go with me to Morocco because I really want to see it really badly. I may even tempt fate and travel it alone if I have to.)
Instead I will be going to Ireland, thanks to the suggestion of Damien, who will be staying there for a bit. I think I may try and see Dublin and Cork, as well as the Small town where Damien is staying. (Which had 1.5 pubs, but rumor is they've expanded to two now.)

Like Christmas.
Today we put up the Christmas tree. By we I mean Me, Carmén, and Antonio, Carmén's son. It is a little rubber tree, that is cute in its own sense, and we decorated it simply with lights, red and gold balls, and some ribbon. There were a few other decorations, but for the most part the simple stuff. It's missing a star, or a topper really, and that sort of bothers me a little, the crowning jewel is missing, as it were. Carmén says she'll buy a star and an extension cord at Corte Íngles tomorrow, so I'm not too concerned about it. It was fun to put up the tree, but I am beginning to miss the smells that I seem to remember being strongly tied to Christmas. Ginger, Cinnamon, Pine, the like. It’s been ages since I've had any apple pie at all, let alone my father's famous creations.

Pankitis
More in the sense of Senoritis than in the sense of the inflammation of the pank. No, this pank is not inflaming; he has just fallen behind on his Christmas responsibilities. Christmas-post cards will be late. Apologies.
Gifts will probably be delivered upon arrive stateside, because mailing is a mad house right now, and super expensive.

Cold.
It's down to negative degrees Celsius some nights here. Which isn't incredibly cold considering where I hail from, but that humidity will really get to you. You just can't shake the cold, and I find myself missing the dry cold nights of Idaho.
A lot of good cold nights remembered. A lot of bad cold nights forgotten.
Such is the memory, isn't it?

Aid.
To aid with the cold, I've been drinking good wine. Last night I halved my bottle of "Itsas Mendi", and am steadily working on requiring a second bottle of it tonight. It is a fantastic Basque white wine that makes me think I could actually enjoy white wines later in life. It’s sweetened with honey has an ever so slight bubble to it. And it cost me less than cheap wine stateside does.
I have a wineskin now, for carrying such wine... and occasionally vodka, with me when I travel.
Or for the 16 hours a day that the heat isn't on inside my flat. You see heat is more expensive here, so it only comes on at night, and only until midnight. From 4 to midnight is when we have heat, give or take.
Makes drying my boots tricky.
Luckily we're on the 'second' floor, which means we're on the third floor for those of you unfamiliar with European floor labeling. (Get's me every time in the Corte Íngles. I go to what I think is the second floor and think "This is children’s clothing! This isn't at all electronics. Stupid sign said that electronics were on the...oh. Right.) Being on the 'second' floor means the heat from the lower level raises up to us. Yay other people's heat. But it’s still cold.

Too tired to be upset.
I tried to buy internet the other day, because it’s hard to type when my hands are numb, and the Cafe people really don't like me. Honestly being out in the freezing elements is a warmer climate than inside with the icy glares.
Turns out in order to buy internet you must be a resident.
It's for the best; it will get me out of the house more often.
On the topic of being addicted to the internet, and probably being on it more often than I should be, I would like to also point out that many of my obligations from school, loan management, travel, and my upcoming internship all require internet access. I'm not denying that I am an internet addict, but access to said internet is more important than just to feed the craving.
Ah well.
A second jacket and both my scarves will have to do for now.

Meeting the Theatre group I'll be interning for this Tuesday. I'd be excited if I hadn't already been disillusioned with what Spain calls theatre.
Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised.
Maybe not.
But a chance to work inside my beloved theatre world is not something I'm going to pass up.

Is it just me or does this post seem to be lacking strong opinions, bad jokes, and silly references to a wedding proposition?
Like I said, not much to report.


Agur.

Sick as a Weasel

December 12, 2010

I am sick.
I am behind in my homework.
I have three days of class and a final exam.

Christmas Party.
There was a brief house-party last night.
That was a godsend, but it ended prematurely, because house parties are not common in Spain and Neighbors get very, very, very angry.
I was drinking for a house party. Which is different than drinking for the streets.
For example: There were Jello Shots.
I was far too drunk for my own good when we left the house.
However my night was largely uneventful, without loss of memory.
So perhaps I wasn't terribly drunk, but I did have a bit of a headache this morning... which probably wasn't helped by my fierce cold.

Not much else to update.


Agur.

Getting By

December 9th, 2010

So I've tried to write a few blogs in the past week, but for reasons best left divulged in private, I was unable to convince myself to post anything that I wrote.
Suffice to say I'm stressed for many reasons.
So, before returning to my wonderful homework, I'm going to go ahead write a quick review of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's 'Conica de una muerte anunnciada.'


A translation/Paraphraisation of this Story:
Santiago Nasar is dead.
This was his fate.
This was his destiny.
Destiny-Destiny-Destiny.
This is back in the day when people couldn't change society, because it was too hard.
That is why today is exactly like yesteryear. Because no one could stand up and say 'I don't think this is right.'
That is why something like that has never happened, ever.
The Protagonist of this story is the author, and therefor any issues in the writing can be blamed on him and not Marquez.
The Character is just an unskilled writer from a little pueblo trying to get his facts straight, so Marquez just really wanted to capture this character's inability to create profound female characters. Nope shallow ones are probably the only one that this "character" understands.
Why is he dead? (repeat this question 1 billion times. Once more for good measure).
The he who I just asked is Santiago. (Writing obscurely is fun for the reader!)
Here's a bunch of people.
Wait.
Wait a little bit more.
If your confused, that's because the author's clever.
Speaking of waiting, and we were, here's some interesting things shoved down your throat.
~Men Suck.
~Men suck because society makes them. Grabs their arms and twists them until the man decides he has to be macho.
~Women had a shitty lot back in the day. They couldn't change this.
~strong hints towards not just back in the day. (He's supposed to be seen as helpful to the feminist movement, but I don't think so.)
~Pride is a monster that will come into your house and eat your children.
~Pride is evil.
~Pride is evil.
~Why is he dead.
~Pride is evil.
~Destiny happens.
Here's why they're important.
They being that bunch of people you were introduced before you started waiting.
Intentionally Vague details about things.
In conclusion, nothing.
You be the jury!
1 gallon of "I'm a Clever writer with a clever device" mixed in with a heavy hand.
2 buckets of forced mystery poured over the lot.
Serve chilled.


I don't like this book.
And now I get to spend another 3 hours explaining these things in Spanish, and in detail.
I hope you're enjoying your night.


Agur!

As my Vodka gently weeps.

November 28th, 2010

Last Day in Madrid.
I woke up on time today, and met Heather to hit up The Rastro, the HUGE flee market that happens every Sunday in Madrid.
This was Awesome.
I wish I had scheduled more time to shop at this place.
However!
However, I did finally realize a short paragraph I wrote over 6 years ago.
You see in Spanish Class, in High school, Sophomore year, I wrote that I would go to this flea market, and buy a thong.
My friends, family, enemies, potential fiances, and readers, I have that thong.
It cost me nothing more than 1 euro.
Dear Past Kishpike, you're welcome, now I have no idea what to do with this thing.
Restart the Jungle?
Well other Past Kishpike cerca College age, I think that may actually be a great idea. You are also welcome.
If you don't know what "The Jungle" was, or will be, then its probably better that you don't ask.
But if you must, I'll email you the answer.
I also went to Haggle on an AWESOME jacket.
I went to do so, and chickened out.
Chickened out hard.
Balls.
I did however buy it.

After the Market we did more window shopping on the way to the Prado. I love gossip and window shopping.
However, I do not love huge lines.
The line for the Prado wrapped around the bloody museum.
So we skipped it.
I've seen the Prado, I've seen Madrid, and while it's all stuff I've seen before, I really enjoyed my stay.
After this Heather did some purse shopping, we sadly didn't find anything quite perfect.
And I hopped the metro to get to my flight, which I thought was at 8:20.
Nope, 18:55.
Different times, those.
So I called Heather, and she helped me find the Bus station.
And I hopped the 8:00 bus to Bilbao with relative ease, and low cost.
My friends, if you are in Spain, and if you can, take the bus.
The bus is more comfy, allows for wine transporting, and much more comfortable than a planel.
It is slower, but much better.
At the rest stop I bought wine.
I am currently at the rest stop now, having written for the last 2.5 hours.
My Battery is low and my Vodka now calls to me.

I got home fine, and now am homework swamped.


Agur!

Sometimes, Irish I had slept.

November 27th, 2010

Still in Madrid.
Sleep.
I sleep in, but thankfully, Heather is super chill, and we meet 30 minutes after we had agreed on. (My hostel is less than a stone's throw from her apartment.)
Yesterday was long.
We go for breakfast first, because I had missed the complimentary Breakfast, or rather I ducked in at the last minute for a cup of coffee. (The Waitstaff told me, in English 'I'm gunna Kick your ass you come in so late.' I found it amusing.)
At breakfast I have Bailey's and Coffee, expecting Bilbao's small coffee cup (they give you a smaller cup for this usually) with about 1/2 coffee and 1/2 Bailey's.
Nope!
They gave me a full 16 or so cup, that I swear was a Mocha, only instead of milk, they used ALL Baily's,
It kicked.
I felt better after that.
Me and Heather then wandered around some more, this time buying some dulces. Spanish Macaroons. Less good than french ones, and lacking coconut. (Apparently they do this in France as well.)
In the world of a Kishpike, this a lesser sin.

Heather!
I don't think I've mentioned it, but it was fantastic to meet with Heather, and have another Idaho Theatre Student to speak with. While I've started to develop friends here in Spain, it was super awesome to get to talk to Heather. A luxury I will not have next semester, but I think I will be able to manage without it (Really it has been a huge stress reliever, both times we met) since I am starting to make some good Spanish friends.

Cristina,
I think that was her name.
I knew her as Machda for about three or four hours, so I struggle to remember her real name.
However, Cristina and I met at 12:30 to go over her script, sadly we didn't have enough time, but we did photocopy it, and I have a copy. I'm going to read it an email her my thoughts.
Tell that isn't awesome.
You're wrong.

The Fallen.
Me and Heather then went to the Park, and more shopping, of course.
We talked. A lot, which was great.
We also saw the statue of 'The fallen angel.'
If you have strong christian views, you may skip this paragraph, or suffer from thinking less of me.
I have identified with the character of Lucifer for sometime now.
I've had several dreams where I am the first of the fallen, and have explored his character in various mythos(es?)...Stories.
Lucifer is fascinating.
The idea that he fell because he did not want humans to have free will is even more fascinating.
He either fell because he wanted us to be perfect, or because he was jealous of the inability to have free will.
The second being even more fascinating, because if Lucifer lacked free will, he was completely incapable of not falling.
Now here's the question that haunts me, most people agree that the Son of Light's primary sin is pride. Pride to challenge God. Pride that freezes his wings in hell. Pride that removes him from God's presence.
What would happen if he asked for forgiveness?
Can he?
Hmmm.
I think the thing I identify with the most is sacrificing that which you love most of all, for the wrong reasons. Or the idea of even God for what you believe is right.
Needless to say I loved the statue.
It captured the fall very well.
I love sculpture.

Safe To Read.
Well.
Let's be honest, reading is dangerous in general.
It may make you think.
After the Park, Me and Heather went for Mcflurries, she had assured me that they were better than they were in the States.
I had promised myself I wouldn't do Mcdonald's in Europe.
I made an exception, and Heather was quite right.
Fantastic.
(I had broken this promise in Italy for a bottle of water, which I feel isn't really a breach of my self-contract.)
We had had Thai food for lunch, so I was a well fed little weasel.
When I returned to my hostel, I wanted to sleep at 8, but decided to internet it up.
Around 10:00 I decided to sleep.
The Amsterdamians, however, were not keen on this idea.
Around... Oh I don't recall, 11 or 12, I got out of bed and walked down stairs to check out the Hostel Bar.
I did not know that they served FREE pallela, and 'small' Beers.
This 'small' beer? It was about as much as you'd get at your average bar.
The Large beer, however, lived up to its title.
I only needed the small one.
After an hour or so I went back to my room.
The Amsterdamins were still fucking about, but I was beer-cozy, and decided to sit it out.
After an hour the beer-cozy wore off, but the Amsterdamians finally left.
Two American girls were talking in the sleeping quarters, but quietly and with the lights off.
One of their comments made me laugh, and they learned I could speak English, and I asked them what they were doing.
Apparently studying in Greece.
I asked what brought them to Madrid.
One responded 'The Men.'
I aksed 'Why Spain? I'd figure Italy would be better.'
...
This is moment in my life that I failed.
Brace yourself.
She responded with 'Naw, they're too Faggy there. With their well manicured eyebrows.'
How did I respond? '...oh.'
What didn't I do?
Tell the bitch that this word was a fucking stupid way to describe someone.
Chew her out royally.
Explain to her that her use of that word was promoting of a huge misunderstanding that drastically affects many lives.
Nope.
I just said '...oh.'
But it's okay.
She apologized.
'Oh, uh, Sorry if you're...'
What should have come next? The word 'Gay.'
That should have been what the bitch said.
'...originally from Italy or whatever.'
I didn't respond.
I rolled over and went to sleep.
It was like 2 in the morning, and I was tired, and pissed.


Agur!

A long day with an even longer night

November 26th, 2010

Madrid, still.
Heather had a doctors appointment in the Morning so I had to fend for myself, fortunately my Spanish is somewhere between wildly awesome and jodidamente Fatal (Effing Terrible).
But Churros con Chocolate is the best breakfast in the world.
Shut your face.
Best.
In.
The.
World.
This time, I poured the remaining Hot-Fudge "Chocolate" (Not Hot-Chocolate my potential Fiance, Melted Milk Chocolate) into my Coffee. Best Idea ever.
I said BEST!
Afterward, I met with Heather, who wasn't going to die from her sickness, which is a good thing.
We walked around, and here my days get fuzzy and start blending together a little bit. (Could also be the Vodka that I Scherbatskied into my Iced Tea for this bus ride. To Scherbatsky Alcohol is to pour a serving into a container, pause for a moment, and then empty the alcohol into the serving container.)
Heather wasn't feeling too hot, but we got to talk a lot, and did some window shopping.
Well... I did some shopping shopping, I bought a fantastic jacket from H+M. (Men's clothes in that store are far more expensive than women's it turns out.)
Window Shopping in 'Sol is fantastic, obviously.
Heather had to bail, to nap a bit, so I again fended for myself.
I decided I'd do lunch, wander, and then go to the Reina Sofia Museum and look at the art, then wander the bars until I wanted to sleep.
Little did I know.

First.
The Lunch.
I caved and bought a cafe burger (NOT a Mcburger!), because it was 6 euros for a burger, papas fritas (french fries) and a coke. Probably the cheapest non breakfast meal I had all weekend.
I walked into the Cafe, and asked for the "Menu de Hamburguesa" (The Hamburger Meal-Deal), which is one of my favorite words in Castellano. Hamburguesa.
The lovely woman at the counter told me, pretty frankly, that they were out of Hamburgers.
I say 'Vale' (Okay) and turn to leave.
She tells me to wait, that she'll call her friend to come make more.
This time I say 'Uh...' before I say 'Vale.'
So I sat down, she called her friend, and about 15 minutes later someone showed up, greeted her, and ducked back into the Kitchen.
5 minutes later, she came out and said something was lacking... missing. Whatever.
So the first lovely lady ducks out of the store.
5 minutes later, not only am I very amused, she returns with hamburger buns.
Not 5 mintues more I eat one of the best Hamburguesas I've ever had in a long time.
Worth it?
Hell yes.

Second.
The Museum.
Well at 7:00 the museum is free, so I waited an hour or so outside the museum, after wandering around doing some personal shopping.
While I waited I watched a group of lunatics with futbols come out and start playing.
They were acting like different things, Pregnant women, a child, other things. Mostly loonies.
They were talking to people, confronting them, actually trying to get a reaction.
Me, practicing my honesty talked with them, and reacted.
I played soccer 'for' one of the 'pregnant' ladies.
They were also handing out flyer postcards.
"La Katarsis del Tomatazo."
They were a theatre school, advertising their performance, that was that night.
Que suerte, I began talking with them, and made sure that I promised I'd go and gave me general directions.
One of the males got a touch jealous of the female attention I was getting, but nothing came of it.
They eventually left, and I went into the Museum.

This so called 'Art'
Don't get me wrong, Picasso and Dali intrigue me, and there were works in there that deeply struck me.
But for the most part, the paintings and collages (I'm sorry, but 9 of 10 collages I've seen are bullshit) just frustrated me, that they had received this placement in a popular museum.
Paintings that made no attempt to communicate anything.
Oh, and 'The World At War' exibit was absolute bullshit.
Don't get me wrong, The U.S. government fucks up a bunch (and I do love being able to say that openly and publicly, in any medium I so choose) but a constant blame for War in the world being placed solely on The Union of States' shoulders is rather ignorant.
We aren't the only ones making war.
We aren't the only ones with War-hawk political leaders.
We didn't invent the kill.
We didn't start the fire. (It's been burning since the world stated turning...)
We certainly haven't been the greatest and most benivelent nation, but then again... I couldn't tell you which has. (However, I'm not political history/science major, so U'm rather ignorant in this field.)
Still, There *are* others.
You want to blame someone for War?
Great. Do it.
But realize that pointing big angry blaming fingers doesn't really change anything, does it?
Grrr.
This weasel's fur is on end, and its teeth are bared.
Also, there were a lot of bullshit paintings of Dada-istic bullshit.
I grow ever so weary of people making stupid meaningless paintings, sculptures, and sitting back with a smirk and telling me that my new cloths look absolutely fabulous, when I am wearing nothing at all.
No.
Not weary, I grow ever so righteously agitated.
You want to tell people that meaning is meaningless?
Fine. Absurdity have been hammering that out for ages.
You want to fuck with people, and feel superior?
Fine. Be a General Practitioner of Medicine. (I don't like doctors. Can you tell?)
You want to do little work and become famous?
Youtube.
But don't call yourself an Artist.
Artists peruse truth.
Those who make this kind of 'Art' do no such thing.
But, hey, at least they can enjoy their smug sense of being a part of the 'Out-In-Out-In crowd.'
Which is just as masturbatory as the name would imply.
Somehow I think I've said this all before.
Ah well, I feel pretty damn strong about it.

Third.
I left the Museum without going to look at Gernika.
Sin?
Probably.
But I've seen Gernika, both the painting, and the place,
I saw the painting 6 years ago, and I just wanted to leave the museum for some fresh air.
I found a little cafe, down the general direction that the actors had pointed me, and decided to have a glass of wine.
This cafe?
Coolest cafe, ever.
Beats the Sunbean hands down (my previous favorite ex-cafe.)
This cafe sells used books, coffee, wine, and puts its proceeds to the education of Ethiopian families. Buying a book pays for 3 students. (For how long I don't know.)
I should have bought a book, but they were rather expensive. Great person, I, huh?
I did buy a glass of red tea after the wine, because it was cheaper than the books, and interested me more than the books they had.
This place?
They played Fur Elsie and other... instrumental heavy calming... old timey...music. (I'd rather not say Classical, because I have music major friends who may kill me for thinking that anything that happened before jazz was 'classical music')
Fur Elsie is, hands down, my favorite bit of work by the Ludwig Vahn.
Kitche?
A'yup.
Sue me, I still like it.

Fourth.
The theatre.
Well... the show was... crazy.
Before the show, the actors came out in various characters, and interacted with the audience in character. (Ah, the misunderstandings of the what "Stan the Man Станиславский" was saying, you are so... archaic.) One girl was putting on a 'Sad Act' and to be honest it seemed fake, but I couldn't be too sure, so I started talking to her.
She continued to seek me out and talk to me at both intermissions (Well talk about the 'great idea' two intermissions is after I get this out of my system.)
She and I talked a lot, and I wasn't sure what was real and what was fake.
But DLP's voice rang in my head "Stay Honest, Young Man, what have you got to lose?" I love it when DLP is inside my ear/head.
So I stay honest.
She tells me I have the most lovely eyes, and asks me if I will let her live in my house.
I tell her I don't have a house, but she's more than welcome to crash on the ground/couch of whatever I'm living in when I get to N.Y.
She tells me to come to Madrid, and go to school there, and live with her.
She flirts heavily with me.
My mind races, but I stay honest.
She asks me if I believe in Love at First sight.
I tell her, honestly, that I don't.
But I do believe in immediate attraction, that may turn into something more.
Naturally, I'm excited.
She's interesting.
I ask her about her philosophy in theatre.
She tells me that a play is a dream.
I don't know if you actually know this weasel of a Kishpike, but that response put me at 100.
She then explained that a show can make a person think, or it can entertain, but it is always like a dream.
This was all in Spanish.
I think my language is improving.
At the end of the whole thing, it turns out she was practicing a character for a scene she's doing later this year.
Heartbroken? Not quite, but definitely an aftertaste akin to it.
I'll return to this subject, but I want to talk about the Play that was on the Stage.

The 'Play' had 3 acts, 2 intermissions, and one too many 'Lead Actors'

A) 2 intermissions is BULLSHIT.
This theatre is about immersion.
They like to get the audience's participation in the show, they don't want the audience checking out, and they get right up in your face, and make sure you aren't sleeping.
And they have 2 intermissions.
Cognitive Dissonance much?
Intermission is a break.
An excuse to lose this immersion.
Uhg.
I hate intermissions in general.
Two? Two is too much to have.

B) On The Lead Actor Role.
So... I think, here in Spain, they have the concept of the Lead Actor. The concept that the 'Biggest Part' the protagonist, the character who the show belongs to, is given to an actor/director, who is very important. They Lead and Act.
This concept in my learning, is mildly present in 'The Flag-bearer'
(The Flag-bearer isn't always the protagonist, or even the best actor present, but they are the one actor who rallies the crowd, and helps the director to get a grasp on the group of actors, and gets everyone under on flag.)
These Lead Actors always love themselves far, far, far too much.
And it shows.
They play the action of 'Look at me Audience, I'm the best.'
Which reads.
They tend to not listen.
They tend to be terrible, and hammy.
This production had one.
She was a perfect example of all this.

C) Act i, Sketch Comedy has been done better.
The play started with a poorly costumed dance number of 'The Time Warp.' It was Lip Sync. sunk. The choreography? Not super original. Big surprise. I thought I had somehow managed to come in to see a production of 'Rocky Horror,' but no.
Scene 2 was a man who shot another man who asked for a cigarette. 'Smoking Kills,' with a wink at the audience.
The gun shot? Terrible.
The Death? Worse.
Continue on of more of the same for about 30 minutes.

D) Act ii, The Catharsis of the Tomato.
While this was not theatre, it certainly was performance art.
Maybe performance 'art,' but it was experimental, it was treading dangerous grounds. It was an exercise in examining stereotypes, tropes, and human reactions.
If there must be bad theatre and art in the world, the let it be said that all bad art is executed with the intention to create something new, with an atmosphere of experimentation. Let it be said, at the end of this bad art 'Well that sucked, but at least we tried something new, and learned from it.'
The first 45 minutes (by the time I tell this story again it will be 2 hours) there were three 'Inmates' from a women's prison, (Lead Actress here) making jokes about the intelligence levels of these gangster-dancer 'You Just Got Served' girls. Very Jersey Gangster Thug who suffers from Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness.
It was also completely actionless.
45 minutes of words.
A brief history on theatre.
Quit telling me, and show me.
(This is a blog, its job is to tell. I can't rightly show you these things can I?)
After this, Tomatoes were handed out to the audience, and Sketches were put on.
The audience was encouraged to either throw the tomatoes or applaud.
The sketches, purposely horrible.
However, it did make me think.
A lot.
Uhg.
Fakey Fake Crying and uncommitted acting are sins on par with Talking or Texting in a theatre.
I should have texted.
There would be catharsis in that.
It seems, however, the expiremental nature of this show has been tapped, it's been playing for a while, same concept, different actors, different bad scenes.
Lame.

E) Act iii, More of the Same.
Bad sketches.
A few decent dances.
More lead actor loving herself.
And then it came.
The thing I loved.
After bowing, each group of actors approached the audience, and shook a few hands.
Now there is a break in tradition to strengthen the honoring that bowing is supposed to be.
A bow is a sign of respect, is it not?
But that's been forgotten, it's now expected. It tells us when we can stop clapping.
Shaking our hands? That shows that they actually do appreciate us being there.
Further all the actors lined the exit, and each personally thanked as many people as they could.
This?
Consider it stolen, and something gained.

Girls.
So, back to the girl.
She told me that she would talk to me after the show.
Aparently she thought I knew she was in character the whole time.
I didn't, I suspected, but I didn't know.
And part of me, a large part of me believed her.
Because why not?
Why not take the risk?
Ah well, she was surprised to see me after the show, I had waited 30 minutes, in the cold with little more than a suit jacket to keep me warm.
She had asked me what I had done in character, and I told her I was a Director, because I am, dammit.
So she asked about how I took her character.
Uhg, I kept trying to stay honest, but I felt hurt.
But, I explained to her that her 'trying to be sad' at first wasn't very convincing, because she was trying to 'be' something, and not 'do' something.
She listened to me, and we talked about her rehearsal process and her 'Deseos' or Goals. (Yay Spanish Theatre Knowledge) and that she would be a lot more believable when actively pursuing goals.
She told me that she actually believed I knew what I was talking about, and had never thought of it in that regard. That she really wanted to hear more, so we continued to talk.
The other actors went out to drink more, and she invited me to go with them. So I did.
We talked a lot me and her.
All the bars were closed, so we found a concrete park, and the Actors drank what they had brought, but I wasn't drinking. I wanted to be thinking clearly.
Then we all played futbol for a few hours.
I got to talking with the other actors, about casual things.
Someone told me I didn't look like an American. I took that as a compliment.
Another girl got very drunk and called me 'America' all night.
This was fine.
I walked the first girl, home, and she asked if we could go out to coffee so we could go over her script.
She wanted more advise.
How exciting?
Not because a girl is interested in me, I don't think she really was, but that I can do actor-coaching across a language barrier!
Of course, she spoke pretty good English, but a lot of our conversation was in Spanish.
This gives me confidence in my ability as a Director.
See, it seemed the man playing her opposite suffers from self-love, and won't listen to her.
I told her that the rehearsal process was time to play... so if she had to break blocking, script, or whatever to GET her goal (which was conveniently this man's attention) that she should do it. If her director gets upset, well, then probably don't do it again, and find another director.
I also told her that she wasn't advocating for her character. She told me she didn't realize that this was important, and that she loved the idea.
Of course, this could all be lies.
But, fuck it, it all could be.
I'm a cynic, not a pessimist.
I'm going to keep taking risks, and believing in myself.
(For the record, I'm a sucker for those who compliment my eyes.)

Return.
So, I get to the Hostel at 6:30 AM.
I didn't get lost, I found my way home.
I brush my teeth and go to sleep.


Agur!

Flying to Madrid

November 25th, 2010

Madrid, Day 1.
Time aint' the only thing.
So flying is still gives me the heebiejeebies a little.
The Sensation is fantastic, and knowing that Ryanair uses Bowing 747s is pretty reassuring. However, there's always that chance. Higher chance on the road, but I interact on the road, therefor the chance to interaction ratio is worse for planes.
Yay over analysis. (Wait, analyzation isn't a word?)
But its always good practice for meditation, and breathing, and being at peace with things.

Arrival.
Buddha forgive the word, but I *hate* the Spanish gait.
This is a plane station, not a Sunday afternoon at the park.
I missed a metro by 1 person, who had decided that walking at the pace of a heart beat may be to fast. That or he was super healthy. (I've heard somewhere that we tend to walk at the rate of our heartbeat.)
In the end it doesn't matter much, but after a long day I just wanted to crash in my Hostal.
Managed to navigate the Metro pretty good with Heather's help, and I met with her outside of the theater where they were producing 'Avenue Q.'
After meeting her, we searched high and low for my hostal, which was supposedly near by.
Turns out it had been covered by scaffolding.
This is a common issue in Spain.
And lack of Street names posted.
I found it. Checked in, and decided to find a bar for some food and call it a Night.
Sadly Heather was rather ill, and couldn't stay up too late, Fortunately I hadn't slept the night before, and all I wanted to do was sleep.
I was going to go to a Donner Kebab, but I opted to have "Tapas" and wine.
Thanksgiving dinner was Tortilla Llena (An egg-potato omelet cake, with 2 layers, and jamon and mayonasa between the two. Be jealous.)
'pie' was a glass of wine, I rather liked this pie, so I went ahead and had another slice. (Didn't want to break the tradition, now did I?)
Truth be told, this pie was pretty good, but not quite as good as my Pop's Apple Pie, which I assume was fantastic this year.
After this fine Dinner with all Me, Myself, I, and angry glares, (Angry Glares was invited because he and I have been so frequently encountering each-other here, and it would be awkward to have Thanksgiving dinner without him.)
As per usual, after Thanksgiving Dinner all I wanted to do was fall asleep. So I went to my Hostal, and crawled into bed.
Except I was in a room with Amsterdamians.
Who see the sleeping quarters of a Hostal as the commons area.
This is not the case.
There was a Bar, A Commons Area, and an awesome Turkish style sitting room. The sleeping rooms have a light, lockers, and bunk-beds.
Where I wished to sleep.
They had other plans.
I conked out around 12sh, but was woken up several times by them.
Lovely

Oh and I lost my camera.
Awesome.


Agur!

Thanks To You!

November 28th, 2010

Yes you!
Thanksgiving was this weekend and I am thankful for my friends, family, enemies, Blog Readers (of either Blog), and various fiances. I'll be praying to the Noblest of Buddhas give unto you all enlightenment and $250 (I figured Euros would be a bad idea, since most of you are in the E.E.U.U. Also, more than $250 is really just asking to much of the Buddha. Man's (Or "Woman's", if the Noblest of them was a female.) gatta work.)


Now for the Spanish Stuff.
Because this Blog would be a Monster the Likes Sephiroth or the three Primary Weapons couldn't even manage to over come, I have decided to post it day by day.


Agur!

Radio and Haro

November 22, 2010

I can't believe it's almost over, first semester.
It seems like nothing has happened, but almost half my time is here. And yet another four months may just be enough to break me.
I can't say I've been feeling terribly well this past couple days, and I couldn't quite tell you why.

However.
I did have a fantastic Friday, this past weekend.
After class we took a trip to Eitb, the local Basque broadcasting center, that does most of the Radio work, and News for the Basque Country.
All in all the trip was mildly interesting except for two occasions. Both of which called for volunteers. You can guess which excited little weasel of a Kishpike jumped at those opportunities.
First: there was the Recording Booth, were they temporarily recorded my voice, and a few other student's voices.
I said something along the lines of 'You'd think I'd have a monologue prepared or something, but, eh, I never do.'
The play back was very clear, and very eerie, because it sounded like me without the Machine like noise that usually comes out of a recording of my voice. It sounded like another Kishpike was in the room, talking to me.
Second: They called it 'The Inocent Hand.' I sat in during a brief scrap of a radio show, and was to select a number, I wasn't sure when, I wasn't sure out of what set, and they were speaking SUPER fast SUPER colloquial Spanish. I was terrified.


Er... Care to run that by me...again?

It came down to the time, and I was clearly addressed, and they asked me to select any number between 1-203, any single number.
I chose seven.



"Uhm....Seven?"

That girl won a Wii.
It was a facebook-radio competition.
Later, Ibon, the USAC General Director guy here asked me why I chose seven. I smiled awkwardly and said 'I couldn't think of how to say thirteen.'
Have I mentioned that my ability to speak Spanish is still a joke?
Well it is.

You Can find the Radio Show Here.
My voice can't be heard until 13:40 in the recording.

I come on not too long after 'Spider Pig' you should be able to recognize that. (If you don't know what Spider-Pig is, our engagement might require some reconsideration, and you may consider googling it. I just don't know if I can share my life with someone who does not know the amazing powers of Spider-Pig.)


There we are! In front of anything you can edit into a green screen.


Group Photo!


Haro.
While in Class on Friday, or really, after class, due to my previous feelings of not taking advantage of living in Spain, asked my teacher if she knew any good cities or towns nearby to take a day trip to. She told me Haro was pretty good, and gave some other suggestions.
I went Haro.
I fell in love with Haro.
I only have six or so hours in the town, but I got lost, and found myself before I could really worry.
I drank the wine, the wine was good, and cheaper than cheap.
I bought some fantastic wine that when I asked the bill, I wasn't surprised when I thought I heard the man say 8€, no. He said .80€.
This was after my third or fourth glass.
Because I traveled by bus, I had no problems sampling the wine.
The buildings in Haro are gorgeous.
The sort of thing I wanted to see when I came to Spain.
Check!
The Pintxos were absolutely fantastic and a bit cheaper than here.
There is a place called 'The Horseshoe' its a curved road with Bars on it, and it is the place to go for the Haro wine tour!
Oh the wine my friends. Oh the wine.
And the church was pretty cool too.


Awesome Outfit? Check.



Good Siddhartha, that sky is lovely!



Vega's Fountain.



Vega...your fountain is a bit dry.



A park!?! They have parks here?



Ooh trees!



Hey! This rose wasn't painted at all!



Pretty things are EVERYWHERE in Haro.



THIS IS WHAT I MEAN!!!



It's made of gold!



Gold, I tell you, gold!



You should have heard him play.



It's a thing! And it's cool!


This guy? He'd do better work if he wasn't so damn cocky all the time.



I was going to ask this guy for directions, but he looked like he was doing something important.


This guy was so devoted, didn't even notice when I stole his shoes. I gave them back...



The details are fantastic!



I saw the bird. It ate my camera, so I couldn't take a picture of it, but it was huge.
...My camera? ... It got better.



Ooooooooh.


It's a foot bridge! They have feet here!


They kinda like wine out here. If you couldn't guess.



Mmmm, me gusta.



The lights in this town seemed, brighter than others... or was that the wine?



Wine Store!



So... can I have this town. For Chirstmas? Like, to keep?



Just outside of town.


She was real nice, but the pastries were a bit tough on the teeth.


Oh no! A town so beautiful would have one of these terrible beasts...


TWO!?!?! No wonder Haro is such a well kept secret.



I'm a sucker for the moon.


This is a statue of grapes. I love this town.


Si.


Bastante Feliz.



Ah the Bus-station, I suppose I must be headed back at some point... Oh well...

Upon returning I have found myself in a funk, again.
There are things I wish to express, some I know not how, others I have no means, and others still, I lack the full freedom from responsibility to express.
Here is something I have always struggled with, secrets.
Secrets that, in part, belong to me, and are secret because they, in part, belong to someone else who wishes them to be secret.
It is easier when a person expresses that they wish it to be kept on the DL, (yeah I did) but I still dislike these sorts of situations.
Actions or experiences that I am a part of are even more difficult still to keep within this realm of shared secrets.
I am not a terribly secretive person, in some situations more than others, and I feel that secrets are a burden. But I've collected more than a few since I've arrived here.

On that cheery note, I'm going to go stare at my homework until it does itself.


November 25th, 2o1o.

I'm going to Madrid today!
I will be visiting the lovely Miss X from Y
I'm excited!
And I still hate photos!


Agur.

Of Being Wrong.

November 17th, 2010

No!
I was wrong.
It does matter if I just wind up staying in all the time. More and more I'm growing bored with myself, I have all of Spain to discover! So today, I decided to toss my homework to the wind. (That's right 'Track 4' to the wind!)
I went for a walk, to buy stamps, and decided I'd go to Casco Viejo to check out the piercing parlor.
On the way I saw an Ice-cream shop, and had to stop by.
Before that? Accordion Busker.But he was cheating.
I then wandered around, and found myself in FNAC, which is Spanish for 'Better than Hastings.'
I got lost in their book section for half an hour or so. (Harder to get lost in books in a language you have a 3 year old comprehension of. And not a genius three year old.)
Tonight I need to read a book.
So I'm going to take it over to the ocean and read it there.

Buskers can cheat?
I give the cheaters less money than the 'True Busker's' in my eyes.
See a lot of Buskers here have a sound system that plays backup music.
LAME.
Especially if the recorded sounds are trumping your live sounds.
The guy I saw? His backup music had another accordion playing over the top of it.
Double lame.
I want authenticism. I want live street music that is unique and derived from the very heartstrings of the person willing to stand out on the corner and play for what people pay.
This recorded bullshit?
Its bullshit.

More Piercings?
Naw, I just wanted to buy a micro-dermal.
You see, I lost one that weekend I got sick from drinking too much.
I bought 2 new black gem dermals, that look alright, but I'd prefer the clear.
Sadly they didn't have those.
They did have a super sketch jewelry handling policy.
And a not very strong comprehension of Micro-dermals. (How they work, not what they are.)
But they did have 2 stars I might go back for.
I'm getting pretty Steal hungry though.
Might be looking at an Industrial soon...

'Art History' Class.
UHG.
More Architecture today.
No surprise there.
I don't have a problem with Architecture, but there is SO MUCH more to Art than it.
'Welcome to Baskin Robins. All we have is Cookie Dough flavor today.'
Don't get me wrong, cookie dough is awesome, but I was hoping to get some Chocolate Peanut-butter, some Mousse Royal, Vanilla? Nope. Cookie Dough.
And if you haven't studied it before, that's tough cookies. (Yeah I did.)
I'm certain half the things we talk about would be lost on me if it were in English.
So, today, most of the class left early.
So it was me, and a student who NEVER talks.
And she asked that fantastic question, and looked dead at me.
'Os gustan ----'
And I did something stupid.
I hesitated.
I lied.
I hesitated then I lied.
The hesitation was stupid because it revealed the lie.
The lie was stupid because I'm trying to be an artist and lies do not become us (artists).
I received another lecture.
Not on Lying, Buddha shield us, that would be appropriate.
No, I received a lecture on the importance of Arabic Architecture.
Which I don't doubt.
And it is cool to look at, and it is very different that what I am used to seeing.
But I do grow weary of Columns.
Always COLUMNS.
SO MANY COLUMNS.
FOR SO LONG.
My future house is going to have no supports what so ever. The ceilingwill simply hover, the walls will be made out of magic, and therefor not really there.
Because I may gouge my eyes out to overcome my Column boredom.
I think I would feel the same way if I were in a Theatre History Class that only did Chekhov. Or Shakespeare.
I mean... I was in a Shakespeare class, but it wasn't called 'The Plays of Theatre' class.

Life?
So, I've been thinking about life when I finish this Spanish Vacation, because, let's be honest, this ain't for learning things in books and school. This is about learning things about life, and having a great time.
But, like all things, it must end.
And when this ends, so too do my college years.
For now.
This means stepping into the role of an adult.
This means stepping out of the role of a student. (Though I must remain an eternal student of life and theatre.)
This means stepping into the beginning of my Directing Career.
This means a lot.
I've been giving it some thought, and New York is the obvious choice.
It's the most terrifying choice as well.
It's also an expensive choice.
Most importantly its MY choice.
I'm moving to New York.
Here's my dilemma.
Money will be TIGHT when I get done with this Spanish Affair.
(Both meanings here apply, 'Not in Abundance' and 'Really Awesome.' I however, in this instance, am referring to the former.)
I have, exactly enough to get by in a suitcase and a backpack.
Flying to Washington (not D.C.) and then moving to New York seems wasteful.
It seems that it would be a decent idea to fly into New York, and hop on the 'Getting My Career Started' train.
However, a lot of my personal effects are in Washington.
A lot of personal effects I'd like to have access to.
Books, more clothing of a less formal variety, random things, books, and books.
Also it'd be nice to see people before I leave.
I've got half a year to think it over, I don't really know what the best choice it.
Mom'll know.
Moms always know.

I've got a book to read.


Agur!

Old Blog

November 13th, 2010


Not much in the way of adventures, I've been working on studying and took the last weekend to myself.
Sometimes I worry that I'm not taking enough advantage of living in Spain, and then I think to myself, I'm LIVING in Spain, I'm not missing anything if I don't go out for one night.

So... here are some random thoughts.

Been re-reading Hamlet. In English. After I give it a 'quick' re-cap in English I'm going to tackle the Spanish Translation. After that I'm hitting up a straight Lopez play. By straight, I mean no translation or manipulation. Wish me luck!

Some nights I would kill for a booth at the Garden.
See the bars here, they don't work like that.
You go in, buy your drink, and stand outside, or in the bar. And then after a half an hour or so, you move to the next bar. The dance bars are full, and even in bars with chairs, the chair are rare. I miss conversation bars.
And house parties, where I could put my bag down, empty my pockets and let loose.
And run amuck.
Here its all in public.
I never even get a chance to take my shirt off!
There is no team skins!

I have found myself in a truly Chekhovian situation that for lack of full 'rights' of disclosure I will not be explaining the situation in full on this particular blog. Suffice to say, I'm starting to get an even stronger grasp on that Old Russian's sick sense of humor.

Hamlet III.ii 371.
That is all.

We were speaking in my Art History Class and a word was dropped that means Hooligan, but only for soccer. I don't remember the word, and frankly it gives me equal. But it did make me realize that I am a Theatre Hooligan. Deal with it.

So much of 'classical' and 'neoclassical' paintings look as if the painter him or her self did not enjoy painting it.
The subjects painted look bored.
The painter is bored.
I'm bored.
This is boring.
Academically mastrabatory and boring.

Also, more complaints about an art 'teacher.'
If you wish to teach artistic analysis, you cannot teach it in the realm of 'is' and 'means.' As in 'This Painting IS X, or this song MEANS Y.'
That isn't teaching, that's pressing your opinions on your students, not teaching them to form their own.
(Don't worry I'm not going to be a teacher.)

Spanish for the Day:
Suena como una patada "It sounds like a kick [In the head/ear]"
Quien con niños se acuesta, mojado se levanta. "Children ruin everything"
Él que no llora no mama " The babe that cries not sucks not [The squeaky wheel gets the grease]



Él que se casa, por todo pasa


Apparently proverbs are more common in Español, more in English.
Which is awesome because I love proverbs.
I love screwing with proverbs.
Dirty jokes with proverbs.
I should read 'proverbs'
I imagine it would be full of them.
When I write my Not-Book for my Radical Zen Buddhist Not-Church of Nonviolent Yet Aggressive Denial of All That We Believe Exists Even the Denial of such Existences, I'll include a chapter named Proverbs and one named Parables. Proverbs will be filled with parables, and Parables will be filled with allegories, and the Chapter Labeled 'There is No Third Chapter' will be filled with proverbs.
Chapter 5 will be the Q2 version of Hamlet, in Rot 13.
It will not be, and not be, excellent.
This grows tedious.


Agur.

Excuse me, have you seen my free time?

November 13th, 2010


What happened to all my time?
And when the hell do these Vascos sleep?
I was out until 7:00 am last night.
Not drinking too much because:
A) Last weekend I was terribly ill.
B) I danced too heavily in a very smoky club, and made myself terribly ill, but clear of mind.
I think I'd rather be ill from drink than Dehydration and Second Hand Smoke.
But the recovery period is shorter.

Of Cheeses.
I have been eating so many delicious freaking cheeses I think my head might explode.
Or, worse, I may become french.

Todos Eran Mi Hijos.
This play, a translated version of 'All My Sons' by Senior Miller.
For those of you who don't know this is my second favorite play of his, only surpassed by After the Fall. The Crucible, was actually written by someone else. Because I love Miller, and I don't want to see is flaws. (No I will not Link that piece of garbage, you're better off if you don't know what it is.)
I stand by this opinion even if they threaten to burn me at the stake.
Enough bad jokes.
The Theatre Thoughts:
This Theater is Baroque.
('Kishpike, uhm' you might be thinking 'You just spelled theatre with an er... that's not very theatre-nerdy of you.' But you see, Theater means Building, or place where Theatre takes place. Follow?)
Baroque is ridiculous.
Its gorgeous, and gawdy.
You could spend hours staring at the random beautiful elements that all come together to make a hodge-podge of imagery to the point where your senses are overwhelmed and you don't know what the original art was meant to be. I don't like Baroque much.
First night (Yes I went twice.)
I was sat with, most literally, a decorative column in my lap.
This column was sprouting between my legs as if it were a bad phallic joke.
There was not one inch between my seat and it.
When the ushers closed the doors (and thus couldn't see me) I changed seats.
Remember how I was complaining about Spanish Audiences?
It gets worse.
There were three girls of fewer years behind me talking.
Talking.
Not whispering.
Not muttering.
Talking.
During the WHOLE show.
And laughing at the wrong points... okay, that's a healthy reaction, laughing when uncomfortable, or whatever, it's a true reaction, but it's goddamn immature. I can't recall the exact moment, or why they thought it was funny, but it was jarring to my experience. And made me angrier.
I shot a few glares at them, directly at them, as they were in the seats behind me, but nothing.
I couldn't help but notice that the people around me didn't seem to care, or notice. At all.
Leaving me with the responsibility to say something.
I can't inspire fear like a stage manager, and was struggling to cobble together a spanish sentence to the significance of 'Get the fuck out of this theatre.' With proper conjugations and accents as not to create more of scene than was already happening.
I over thought the situation, and left it alone.
-1 Awesome point for this weasel.

The second night I went, I was in the 4th Balcony, (Gross, That shouldn't exist) on the highest seat. The 4th story Balcony is double High. The Stage was on the second floor.
I WAS ON THE GODDAMNED 6TH FLOOR.
I wasn't pleased.
I couldn't see DSR.
At all.
I missed a good 1/3 of the play.
Pissed I was.

Part of the reason this theatre is so big, or as a result of it's bigness, is that these plays run 2-3 times.
Total.
Not a week, not a month.
Total.
Makes me want to puke.
How much work goes into that sort of rehearsal process? What kind of quality can be achieved?
I don't know, but I hate it.

So the show itself.
Good enough to get me to go again, that's pretty damn good.
I hate re-watching things, unless I was somehow involved with it.
The Lead Actor was PHENOMINAL. Joe played on my heart strings like I was a Kishpike-Fiddle, and him the very Johny of Georgia fame.
It wasn't until the second night that I realized he was Nagg from Endgame, who I had loved as well.
Such a sympathetic and nuanced approach to Joe, it was beautiful.
Everything he did seemed natural and inspired by the moment, he also was listening.
The buffoon character was floundering between physical acting and trying to be natural. It wasn't pretty. But he's a small part.
Chris and Ann, did well enough but lost energy on the second night.
And Kate was... well in love with herself.
What do I mean by that, I know what I mean, but it's not the same as loving oneself, which every healthy artist should do. Its more akin to being... aware of oneself and expecting the audience to love the wonderful performance one is giving them.
It's... gross, kind of. I can't really express it I don't think, but you've seen it.
Nick Bottom is a Parody of that sort of acting, I'm fairly certain.
(Anyone else think Shakespeare might of known some guy who pussy-footed around EVERY conversation, and it drove him mad. Mad to the point where its a common theme in all his plays?)

The Scene design passed, a corner of a house, backyard, small broken tree.
The Light design was... as the Sound design, a bit heavy handed.
Well The Sound design was way to heavy handed, marred the wood.
It started out nice appropriately sound 'Making Whoopie' that played on speakers like it was a period radio and bled into a live harmonica on stage.
It ended with melodramatic music over Chris's sobbings.
First night the Sobbings were enough.
Second night Chris had lost energy, and the music didn't help.
I hate heavy handed sound design, it's manipulative and obvious.

Anyhow I didn't come to Spain to post blogs.
I'm off to find more adventure.


Agur.

Cheese with your whine?

November 11th, 2010

Still Studying for a final tomorrow morning.
And I'm upset.
I'm very upset.
I'm struggling to 'control' my emotions, express them, then move on, dealing with them, sitting in them.
The reality is I need to study if i would like to do well.
The situation is that I'm not handling an instance well.
You see, I'm bad with, well Spanish in general.
Conjugation, and Irregular verbs kill me.
Also, the word pluscuamperfecto is enough to make my head spin without an arbitrary P in front of it, or the addition of de subjunctivo after it.
Our teacher was rather aggressive two days ago, with the students who were still struggling with conjugations, because we are supposed to be past that point in our learning.
'Your adults, in age and in class, you can't miss-conjugate.'
Honestly, with her aggression, which was expressed more in action than in words, and my struggles in this class was enough to make me want to cry in class. Of course I didn't.
Maybe I should have.
I hate crying in class.
I hate crying.
Usually.
Anyhow.
Trying to study I can't shake the voice of 'you should know this by now, what are you stupid?' from that day in class.

If I were in 'Track 2' Spanish, I'd be going over past-tense verbs, right now.
Which isn't difficult, it's something I did in high school.
I am currently in track 3 Spanish, and feel as if I have lied and cheated to get in, because my lack of understanding is second only to the student who isn't in class half the time.
I encountered the same problem in many classes at the U of I.
Class A was stupid easy, so easy in-fact that I'd do poorly in it because I couldn't be bothered.
Class B was ridiculously difficult, and many times I dropped out of a Class B to pick up a Class A, where I felt educationally cheated.
I want to know where the transition is.
Big words from a guy who was complaining about not wanting to use transitions in his essays (Transition sentences just seem masturbatory, 'Change of Subject Cliffhanger,' who gives a toss?)
But seriously, when was I supposed to have magically memorized all of these tenses?
'Oh Kishpike, all your education shouldn't happen in the class-room,' you might be thinking.
I've heard the lecture before, mostly by teachers, that the work has to be done by the students, and that outside of class-room work is more important than what the teacher assigns and offers in the class room.
My response to this statement, mentally of course, is 'Why the fuck am I paying you then? Do you have any idea how much these classes, where "most of my education shouldn't be happening" cost? What do they call you then, if your job isn't to TEACH? A LECTURER? Because I'm sick of getting lectured. Not Class Lectures, personal lectures.'
I have long responses to things.

Maybe its just me, but when an entire class struggles with something, I don't think the root cause is the students.
Maybe its just me, but when a play sucks, it is ALWAYS the directors fault. No questions asked.
Maybe its just me, but maybe, just maybe, education of educators should be something more.
I'm not saying my current teacher isn't apt to teach Spanish, she's doing a fine job (except for the aggressive behavior the other day), but way too often I've encountered shitty teachers.
Since...teachers... are responsible...for... teaching, I don't know, Brain Surgeons, Flight Repair Folk, actually everyone that does anything... you'd think... that maybe, the education, of teachers... would be, better.

Honestly I'm just upset because I have no idea how half of the grammar works for this test, and the book doesn't do a terribly good job of explaining it either. I hate failing, and I hate not understanding why I don't understand.
Uhg.

This Weasel's frustrated.


Agur.

Why not Ice and Brimstone?

November 10th, 2010

So... Opinions.
I bought a book in Italy, because there are a lot of used book vendors in Rome.
I found a Copy of 'Timon of Athens' in English, and figured I'd give it a spin, like I had originally intended to do before this summer, but never got around to.
So I start reading the script, ignoring the footnotes and the 'translations into modern English' bits, I want to enjoy my first go with it, and form my own thoughts.
Then I notice something off.
Stage Directions.
There's a metric shit-ton of them.
'Weird,' I think 'These are really specific. Maybe the rumors about the Bard being five different people are supported by the fact that this stage-directions is nothing like his other stuff that I've read.'
You see I love Shakespeare's simplicity of stage directions, you get most all you need from the text.
Some of the great Stage directions of Shakespeare are as follows

EXIT PURSUED BY BEAR
EXEUNT PIRATES
THEY FIGHT

When I cam across a page of stage directions I started to get more than curious, I was confused.
The suspicion came when the words didn't seem hard enough to follow.
Too easy.
So I flip to the front of the book.
'Timon of Athens' in Large fancy print.
'Edited by Some Jackass*' in small print.

You don't edit Shakespeare like that.
'Uhmmmm...,'you are most likely currently thinking 'Kishpike...weren't you a rabid were-weasel male witch in a version of Macbeth that was known for cutting the most famous line of the play?... Actually weren't you also Fleance the young lover of Prince(ss) Malcom? Since when have you ever been a purist.'
You're very clever, and savvy to my past, I must say, perhaps someone has been doing some matrimonial research? Hmmm?
Anyhow, yes.
Yes I have, and its true, I have less than the standard reverence for the words as staged.
However.
As written?
As written, you really think you have improved on Shakespeare's original works well enough to pass it off as the original script. To sell the script to random blokes and blokettes?
This isn't changes to service on performance, these are changes to service 'The Way it Should be.'
You don't edit Shakespeare's work and try and pass it off as Shakespeare's work.
You edit Shakespeare's work and pass it off as you own interpretation of the work.
ON THE STAGE.
NOT ON THE PAGE.
*H. J. Oliver you are on my bad list.

Teaching.
If you ever find yourself in a teaching position, (Don't do it) you may find yourself wishing your pupils would speak.
Communicate with you, so you can share ideas, and expand your teaching offerings to hungry minds.
I know it's frustrating to try and teach to a dead audience from my laughable work at the Nature H.Q. at Camp Grizzly, 'teaching' merit badges. I think I was teaching Weather. Or Clouds. Or something like that. Something else too, I think.
I digress.
A terrible way to encourage active participation of your students is to defensively-lecture them when then propose an opinion that is contrary to your view of the world. (A good thing to do here is open up the Socratic Method. Questions change ignorance into curiosity.)
In my 'Art History' Class, which would have been better named 'Architecture History' Class, (I'm sorry, I don't follow the more complicated art and design of architecture, I've been going to school for theatre for the past four years and havn't put much thought into Architecture, a sin I suppose, but a lesser one, I mean I did pretty well in Set-Design, but set-design has a lot more room for... emotional interpretation and non-structurally sound things. I can't keep my interest in something I really don't understand. I try, but I swear if we look at one more pillar I might explode like Lynnette. (( heh. ATF reference.)) Haven't even gotten to Grotesques and Gargoyles. Sculpture is my favorite non-theatre art I've found, while in Rome.)
Digress much?
Yeah.
Where was I?
Ah, yes, In my 'Art History' Class we just finished Rome.
Which was extra difficult to pay attention to, because I've been there.
And the little slides just don't compare.
The Teacher at the end of the section asked her usual question 'Os gustan los Romanos?' (Do y'all [formal style] like the Romans?)
I began to respond, and then realized I wasn't certain if I could full express my ire in Spanish (I couldn't), but having already started speaking, I wasn't going to get off the hook.
'I like the Romans, I don't like Rome.'
You'd think I had told Kelly that I thought Stanislavsky was full of shit. (Which I don't, but I do think his writing is sloppy and in need of some heavy editing.)
'Porque?' (Why?)
I knew that question was coming.
I dreaded both syllables.
It haunts me still.
I could explain myself in English, but the Class is Castellano only. (Well I suppose if you could speak Basque you could throw that in as well, the two are pretty mixed around here.)
So I tried to explain that I wish less of the art had been robbed by the Vatican.
I should have made the Earthquake of 1314 joke.
Robbed and Vatican in the same sentence was my downfall.
See... "The government can't rob from its own country, and really the Vatican was saving all the art." (A: A government can damn well rob it's own country, B: Well that's open to debate.)
A lecture on what stealing is and isn't followed, with little room for discussion.
I wasn't very encouraged to talk in class after that.
Yeah, accusing the Vatican of anything in a Catholic country wasn't a great choice, but I thought this was an Art class.
My mistake.

Honestly.
Truth be told I don't have enough information to back up my opinions on Rome, and it deserves another chance. Maybe when I'm not a traveling touring student. Maybe when I'm traveling on my own, and have done more research.
It is something, like all opinions should be, open to debate, even if I can be heavy handed with my opinions.
However.
However, I don't understand the self-sabotage of not being an open minded teacher.
I miss artists damnit.

Food
Sorry, Koll, no Pictures.
But I've been eating some freaking odd foods lately.
Here are some recent discoveries.
The Heladria (Ice Cream Shop) near my house has a Orangish-Brownish Ice Cream named Mañaga or something like that.
I figured it might be some sort of fruit flavor, because it had little chunks of more brownish-orangish things in it that could have easily been fruit.
Well.
They were.
At some point.
This was Rum 'Flavored' Ice-cream.
I'm not certain how they made Rum into Ice-cream, and I don't pretend to understand the miracles of science, but days like these that give me Sagan like Confidence in human-kind.

They have little trains, and booths, all around.
They sell chestnuts, roasted until they pop, like... well like street food vendors.
These chestnuts are supposed to be delicious, but I find them less than so.
However they are filling and cheap.

Cheesecakes.
Spanish.
Cheesecakes.
With a berry topping of some sort.
About the size of my fist.
Cheesecakes.
Say it with me. Cheesecakes.
The word alone is seductive enough to make my mouth water.
I don't know what the word is for them yet, except Riquisimo.

I was eating lunch, and Carmén busted out this Sausage looking thing.
She told me to peel off the skin and eat the inerds.
It tasted kind of bland, but meatyish.
She told me it was made with blood and rice.
'Cool' I thought. 'I like my steak as rare as a good american Chekhov performance.'
So I was eating my Blood-rice thing, perfectly content.
Until she told me it was pigs blood.
Suddenly it wasn't so cool.
My fortitude wavered, and my Bravado shrunk.
Then she began explaining how Spain uses, every. part. of. the. pig.
Except the eyes of course.
She was showing me by gesturing on her own body what parts of the pig made what things.
Watching a human, show me where what comes from, knowing that humans and pigs taste relatively similar (Why do you think they call it 'long pork.') with the taste of pig's blood in my mouth?
I got sick.
I love me some jamon, but I love me my jamon cooked and dry.
Just the phrase 'pig's blood' echoing around in my head.
Would of been better off thinking it was blood in general.
Bled out of a general beast.
Cow by default.
Because I'm from the States, where cows grow on trees.
Here it's pigs.
She tells me its very common around winter.
Awesome.

Well my stomach's turning.


Agur.

Hungover.

November 8th, 2010


So...
A good sign of having more than one's fill of chupitos (shots), is when one remains hungover a full 24 hours after drinking.

The Plan.
Friday Night with one of my intercambios I went out, and had a pretty good night with cheap cervezas, and more cheap cervezas. I stayed out drinking until 6 in the morning, and decided to call it an early night.
I am not, Toby Belchlike, playing on the fact that 6:00 A.M. is considered early in the morning, I am saying that going home at 6:00 A.M. is earlier than other people stop drinking here.
That was fine.
Saturday night?
Saturday night began with my good and nice friend Kalimotxo, and moved alarmingly rapidly towards chupitos.
And then it was Taquilla.
And more Taquilla.
And Jack.
Me and Jack? We aren't friends.
We have never been friends.
I am still not friends with Jack.
What can I say? Don't mix Wild Turkey and Jack. (The Joke here being that my name is Austin Nichols, the same as Wild Turkey brand Whiskey. Check it out.)
After that it was Vodka. I think.
This is about the point where my night 'browns out.'
Not quite a Black-out, but stuff fades in and out.
Sunday was spent in bed.
In bed and in the restroom.
Mostly in the bed.
Monday I woke up, and still feel not at my best.
But it's a mild sort of not at my best.
My clothes smell like smoke alcohol and regret.

Hypocrisy?
You bet.
I have been disgusted with my fellow american students who would go out and get drunk as lords here, and then tell the tales as if they were stories-of-honor.
Me? I'm embarrassed.
I can't believe I let myself get that drunk, again.
So here's a thought, no more shots.
I work so much better when I drink mixed drinks and beer.
Drinking it neat doesn't work for me, because I lose count, and that's a problem.

Spainish for the Day:

When the rain comes in small globuals, and the wind makes your umbrella (if you are debil enough to need one) completely useless, and the rain comes from all direction, the Spanish/Basque have a phrase for this.
Xiri Miri.
This is pronounced 'Shitty Mitty'
I don't think our professor understands why the class now loves this phrase.

Masks.
Not the kind you find in Venice (if you don't get lost on your way), but the kind we all have. I'm working on stripping mine away, that's the life work of an artist. So I shaved off my whispy sad little beard thing, in case I was trying to hide behind it. (I'm really bad at figuring what is a mask and what isn't, so I test everything by taking it away and seeing how I respond.)
Now I hope that this dislike of being clean-chinned isn't the response of fear of being something I am... I don't even rightly follow the logic, but I do know I think I look better with the whisker-whisps. Are they a mask? Maybe. Are they part of who I am? I like 'em. I like that there is red in em.
What does that mean?
I don't think it's significant.
I don't know.
I do know its easier to regress here, and without constant mask-challenges like DLP, Kelly, and close friends, I'm going to struggle to not revert back into a hidden holed up Weasel.
For this reason I'll keep testing waters like hats, glasses, speaking in English, speaking in Spanish, anything that feels like it could be an easy out must be tested.

Which brings me to my next thought.
I was SPO-YLED at the U of I with it's safe and encouraging environment to be honest and creative.
Here? At a business school? Not so much.
But.
But, that's no excuse.
I'm learning to either create an aura of goodwill to start my honesty and creativity from on my own, or to start my honesty and creativity without it.
Life lessons people.
While I wasn't sure what sort of artistic value this year was going to have for me, it's becoming more and more clear that I am learning to do what I need to do on my own.
Doing this with others will take some relearning when I get back stateside, but I think I'll be better off.

This weasel needs a nap.


Agur